Frederick Beale

1886 - 1916

Born in Oxford, Frederick married aged 24 and moved to Nottinghamshire. He joined up there and went to France in August 1915.

Eldest child

Frederick Joseph Beale was born in Oxford in 1886 and was his parents’ first child. In the 1901 census his father was described as a general labourer, and Frederick had six younger sisters and brothers. Sadly that year when he was only 14, his mother died.

Became a carter

Two years later Frederick’s father remarried, and eventually had seven more children. From 1910 onwards the baptisms took place at Walton Street Methodist Church. In 1911, now aged 24, Frederick was described as a carter, and married Alice Bull. They seem to have moved to Stapleford in Nottinghamshire.

Enlisted at Nottingham

Frederick enlisted in Nottingham, joining the 11th Service Battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers as a Private.  The battalion spent many months training in 1914-15, and Frederick reached France with them in August 1915.  There they underwent battlefield training and within a few weeks they were in charge of trenches.

Fought at Loos

The unit soon experienced action during the Battle of Loos, the first major British offensive of the war. For two weeks at the end of September they held the front at Bois-Grenier, and were not finally relieved until the end of January 1916. Then they were established for a rest around Bruay, but Frederick was killed on 9 February before they moved back into the front line. He was probably struck by shrapnel from a random shell.

Buried at Bois-Grenier

Frederick was aged 29 and was buried at Bois-Grenier. He is also remembered on the war memorial at St Helen’s Church in Stapleford, Nottingham. In the early 1920s his widow was living at Castle Bytham in Lincolnshire.

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